On the hill: Power of powder
SNOWMASS – It’s amazing what a little powder, or a lot, will do to lift spirits in a ski town.
My daughter and I made it to Snowmass at the crack of noon Saturday. We were slowed by circumstances beyond our control, like the never-ending battle with the ice dam on the roof of my garage and a dog that demanded a walk before we departed.
I was certain all the powder would be cut up by the time we pulled into Lot C at the Snowmass base. The Rodeo Lot and adjacent overflow parking at Snowmass were overflowing. I figured the slopes would be crowded.
Not so. To our surprise we skied right up to the Big Burn lift throughout the afternoon. In seven or eight laps there was one time where we experienced anything resembling a line. We never ventured over to High Alpine, but I’m sure powder-starved locals were hitting Hanging Valley Wall hard and that waits were longer on that side of the mountain.
My daughter wants to practice her bump and tree skiing this winter, and I’ve been happy to oblige, particularly in conditions like Saturday’s. The Powerline Glades were back to their usual glorious condition after 16 inches of snow over the prior three days as of Saturday. The tops of small evergreen trees formerly made the area a minefield. Now they are buried.
Even better than the Powerline Glades were the trees to the skier’s right of Mick’s Gully. I don’t know the names of the two separate tree sections, but they’re sweet. And they typically don’t get nearly the traffic of the easily accessible Powerline Glades. We found untracked powder several inches deep at 1 p.m.
We couldn’t help but smile. It’s the power of powder.
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Oral family history provides context that textbooks lack. Tying personal experience to collective events renders them relevant. Most of us have family oral history going back only a few generations, but that spans more history than you might think.